Business owners considering link building, whether DIY or hiring a service, need to be aware of the cost investment. Link building is one of the most valuable SEO strategies, but as the old adage goes, nothing in life comes free. In this blog post, we’ll take an objective look at the average cost of link building, as well as the investment difference and ROI between doing it yourself, and hiring the best link building service. The Cost Factors in Link Building While link building is an overall strategy, there are several sub-strategies to consider, which will make up the bulk of your financial investment. Let’s take a look at the different cost factors in a link building campaign. First we’ll look at how much you can expect to spend on an in-house campaign, and then we’ll look at what you could expect to spend on professional link building services. #1: Copywriters For starters, link building primarily revolves around content outreach, typically blog content. So whether you’ll hire freelance writers to create your content, or you’ll write the content yourself, is an important consideration. Let’s say a medium-sized business needs around 15 – 20 published blog articles per month, over the course of 3 months, to see a marked improvement in their SERP for a given keyword. However, it can’t simply be generic clickbait content. Content quality and user engagement is a major factor in content value, and whether or not websites will actually accept your content. So if you were to go down this route alone, you’d be looking at hiring 2 – 3 freelance writers to write quality content around your niche. Quality freelance writers typically start in the range of $0.04 – $0.08 per word. So quality blog articles of 600 words will cost you an average $35 per article, which equates to around $700 monthly just in content creation alone. Oh, and you’ll also want to hire content editors to proofread the work of your writers. #2: Content Outreach VAs Now you have to factor in the cost of outreach. Searching for trusted domains that accept guest posts is time-consuming, both in evaluating websites for their value, and reaching out to the webmasters to pitch your content. There are two factors to consider here. The first factor is whether you’ll be doing all of the outreach yourself – a massive task for any single person to undertake. It’s likely you’ll be hiring virtual assistants with experience in content outreach and blog pitching. So let’s say you hire an assistant at $12 – $15 per hour minimum (depending on location of the VA and what their time is worth compared to their local economy), for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. This means another $2,700 in monthly payment to your assistant, give or take. You’ll also likely be providing them with performance bonuses. #3: Guest Post Publishing Fees In recent years, many webmasters have realized the value of outbound links in guest posts. Which means most webmasters will ask for a publishing fee for including sponsored links in blog content. Depending on the domain authority and site ranking of the target website, publishing fees can range anywhere from $20 – $50 for a low-traffic website, up to $500 – $1,000+ for a high-traffic website. The Grand Estimate of In-House Link Building Costs So now you’ve paid $700 for 20 original blog articles from your freelance writers, $2,700 to your outreach assistant, and you’re tacking on another (let’s say) $2,500 in publishing fees to target websites, for a total ballpark figure of $5,900 in one month. That’s just a ballpark estimate, it can be more or less, depending on the scale of your campaign. But either way, $5,900 monthly might not seem like a hefty price tag for a medium-sized business to try and go it alone, but the amount of time spent on running a flawless link building campaign will surely eat into productivity in other areas of your business. It’s also likely a lot of costly mistakes will be made along the way if this is your first link building campaign and you have virtually no experience at it. The Cost of Link Building Services As you can see, the cost for each step of link building can be considerable, which is why a reputable link building service is not only able to charge for their services, but also the time and convenience benefits to their clients. Let’s say a link building service charges you $325 per backlink from a DR 40+ domain, which means a website with up to 10,000 visitors monthly. This is fairly in line with what you would invest into earning a single backlink on your own, but an experienced link building agency would be able to accomplish it much quicker, with much better results. You can read more about the average costs associated with services. There are a lot of pitfalls in link building, such as falling victim to shady blog networks that sell links for cheap, which end up hurting your SERP rather than boosting it. So overall, a link building agency will typically charge you a bit more than what you would spend on a link building campaign by yourself – but you’re getting the added convenience and expertise of their service, which is the most valuable part. In-House versus Link Building Agencies: Which Is Right For You? All being said, it’s important to identify which approach suits your business best, and what strategy will work for your unique SEO requirements. If you’re a small or medium-sized business with limited resources, and you’d rather spend the majority of your time on the actual products and services that you sell, then building and nurturing links to your website will probably be your top priority. But for a company that employs many employees and is looking to gain a massive amount of page views and traffic in a short amount of time, hiring a team of in-house link builders or agencies might be a better fit for you. Whether you opt to work with in-house link builders or agency staff, make sure that you choose a trustworthy agency that has an excellent reputation and a genuine commitment to their clients.